Markers tested for At Home Cortisol Test (AM-PM): 2x cortisol (morning and evening)
What is cortisol?
Cortisol is one of the stress hormones produced in adrenal glands. It has important role in metabolism to break down carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Cortisol levels have a well defined 24 hour circadian pattern that peaks around 8 am and then gradually drops throughout the day.
Why measure cortisol levels?
Any change in the cortisol circadian rhythm indicates problems of chronic stress, adrenal fatigue, burnout, or issues with adrenal glands. Chronically high cortisol levels result in increased appetite, fat accumulation and weight gain, loss of muscles, immune suppression, and bloating. On the other hand, cortisol deficiency results in fatigue, sluggishness, and low energy.
Checking your cortisol levels can also help identify potential problems with adrenal glands. Very high cortisol levels are indication of Cushing syndrome and very low levels can be caused by Addison’s disease.
How to check cortisol levels?
The easiest low-cost way to measure cortisol levels is from the convenience of your home. Simply order a cortisol saliva test kit, collect the sample at home, ship it for free to our world class CLIA-certified labs, and find out your cortisol levels in less than a week. The test is especially useful for those fearful of needles as a saliva sample can provide reliable and accurate results without the painful experience of a cortisol blood test.
You can also order our comprehensive 4 point cortisol test kit that measures cortisol levels in morning, afternoon, evening, and night: 24 hours Diurnal Cortisol Saliva Test Kit.
For a detailed discussion on symptoms of low and high cortisol levels, comparison of saliva vs blood-based cortisol testing, reasons to get your cortisol levels tested, the conveniences of an at-home saliva cortisol test, the role of cortisol on weight gain, adrenal fatigue, muscle loss, and more, please read: All About Cortisol.
You can also read a general overview of Cortisol Test at MedLinePlus.gov and at WebMD. ZRT lab has an excellent discussion and plots to show the diurnal cortisol curves for healthy individuals and patients with chronic stress, chronic fatigue, and burnout symptoms. Finally, you can learn more about the intricate details of a saliva based cortisol testing for Cushing Syndrome from the experts at Mayo Clinic.
Learn more (1): What are Adrenal Glands?
The adrenal glands are a pair of glands on top of each kidney. They produce five key hormones:
- Three steroid hormones: testosterone, DHEA, and aldosterone
- Two non-steroid hormones: adrenaline and noradrenaline
Adrenaline hormones have a classic 4-ring backbone structure derived from cholesterol (examples are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone).
There are two types of steroid hormones:
- Anabolic hormones: they build muscle tissue and promote fat loss; testosterone is good example
- Catabolic hormones: they act as a balance to anabolic hormones by accumulating fat and helping raise blood sugar by breaking down muscles and bones; cortisol is a good example
Learn more (2): Cortisol and Pregnancy:
The circadian rhythm of free cortisol in pregnant women starts to change around 20th week of pregnancy. Although the diurnal rhythm is maintained, the mean cortisol levels increase by 1.5-2 times with morning levels increasing several times higher than normal levels. Also, the peak levels lag behind approximately 90 minutes likely due to delayed activation of the HPA axis. This observation is supported by the fact that external stimulation of CRH does not increase ACTH and salivary cortisol levels. The levels return back to normal after 5-7 days of delivery. Original publication: Psychoneuroendocronology, Vol. 19, No. 4, 1999 (page 317).
Q: Can I purchase the test across US?
A: Except New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maryland our tests are available in all 46 states. State regulations in NY, NJ, RI, and MD do not allow us to ship the tests to their residents.
Q: What does the kit contain and how do I use it?
A: This cortisol saliva test kit contains two tubes for sample collection, instructions on how to collect the samples, and a form requesting basic information including date and time of collection. The directions are straight forward and easy to follow.
Q: How long does it take to receive the results?
A: You will receive the kit within 3-5 business days with a prepaid return envelope. After you ship the sample and it is received by our lab, you get the results within 5 business days.
Q: What do I expect from the report?
A: The report with your test results will be easy to understand and will have all the necessary details. It will mark your cortisol levels on a healthy range for the time of the day and will also specify what are the expected low and high ranges. It will briefly discuss what your numbers mean and what next steps should be taken to maintain healthy levels.
Q: Can I use my insurance to pay for the test?
A: You can use HSA (or FSA/MSA/HRA) accounts to pay for the tests since these are prescription tests (for further confirmation, please check the IRS publication#969). However, please ensure you are not going outside your specified max and min deductible limits. We do not have the capability to process the insurance claim. Insurance plans vary by individuals, therefore we can not guarantee your HSA payment will always be processed by your plan. Please talk to your insurance provider if you have any further concerns.
Q: How reliable are my results?
A: Measuring cortisol levels using saliva is a well researched and thoroughly documented procedure. If fact, as a reliably accurate method, it is one of the best way to test your cortisol levels. The variations in results are mainly from two sources: the way samples are collected and the variation from lab-to-lab. Cortisol levels are highest in the morning, when we are most energetic, and then drop during the day. To minimize this variation, you should collect the sample within 30-60 minutes of waking up, without eating, brushing or putting anything else in your mouth that might contaminate the sample. To minimize the variation from labs, we have partnered with CLIA-certified labs that are regulated by the states, as well as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Majority of the tests from these labs are FDA approved to ensure they meet the proper regulatory requirements. Additionally, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) requires inter-laboratory tests to ensure the ranges established by each lab do not drift or are not out of acceptable ranges. This is done by regularly testing reference samples between different labs. Finally, the labs test thousands of samples for different age groups and health conditions, and have well established reference data to compare your results against this large pool.
Q: Can you recommend what therapy should I take if my cortisol levels are high or low?
A: Unfortunately, no. As a lab test provider we can only test and report out data from your sample. We are not authorized to provide any medical recommendations. But we strongly encourage you to discuss the results with your doctor for next steps.
Reasons to Check
5 reasons to measure your cortisol levels:
- Measuring your cortisol levels is the first step to understand why you start to feel tired in the afternoon and evening. Our at-home cortisol test kit can help understand your energy levels throughout the day.
- Long term mental or emotional stress can raise your cortisol levels which can result in weight gain and adrenal fatigue. The online cortisol saliva test is best way to check the impact of stress, anxiety, and depression on your body. Our cortisol assay test kit can help you understand how your body is handling stress and what life style changes might be required to remain healthy.
- If you are struggling to loose weight, checking the cortisol levels can help you understand the root cause of weight gain. It can help find your body’s receptiveness to weight loss efforts and exercise. The am pm cortisol saliva test kit is a great way to check cortisol levels or adrenal fatigue at home. It is first step to assess whether a test for low or high ACTH levels might be necessary.
- Loss of the natural diurnal cortisol rhythm is a strong indicator of hormone imbalance and serious health issues (including Cushing syndrome and Addison’s disease). Our salivary cortisol hormone testing kit lets you measure the diurnal pattern from the comfort of your home at a low affordable price.
- Better health results in better quality of life, and an at-home cortisol test from RxHomeTest.com can offer not only insight into various health related symptoms, but can also serve as a motivation to treat each of these symptoms and have a better quality of life!
Why with Us?
7 reasons to order at-home cortisol test kit from RxHomeTest.com:
Saliva test (no blood needed)
World class CLIA-certified labs
Physician reviewed results
Fast, secure, and confidential reports
Qualifies for payment using HSA/FSA
No lab visits or doctor appointments
Still wondering how to measure cortisol levels from home?
- Each at-home cortisol test kit from RxHomeTest.com includes a prescription and detailed review of the results by one of our physicians at no extra cost. And all the shipping is free.
- RxHomeTest.com processes your at-home cortisol levels test at the same CLIA-certified labs that doctors use. So rest assured your tests are being processed in a world class lab.
- RxHomeTest.com offers convenient, confidential, and reliable results at one of the lowest prices on salivary cortisol test kit in the market. And we offer a basic morning and evening test as well as a 24 hour saliva cortisol test kit.
- You can order the at-home saliva cortisol test kit online, without requiring a doctor’s visit or prescription, which saves time and money on visits to the doctor. And you do not need to take time off to visit any labs.
- The cortisol hormone test kit is a salivary cortisol elisa assay kit; it’s more convenient than a blood cortisol test or serum cortisol test as you don’t need to go through the painful process of drawing blood using needles.